Stranded

Stranded.

I knock on a door.

The gatekeepers point me away.

“You aren’t wanted.

You ask questions.

You’ll never belong.

You don’t assume like us.

We know you. We remember.”

The door slams.

I knock on another.

The gatekeepers point me away.

“You aren’t wanted.

You haven’t done enough.

You aren’t an ally.

You don’t assume like us.

We know you. We remember.”

The door slams.

Stranded.

Thoughts

It’s often difficult for me to express how I feel in this hyper-polarized world. I’ve never fit in, there’s something in my make up which doesn’t allow me to fit. I always have to question, I always have to learn, I always need to look at myself in the mirror. There’ve been times where I’ve thought I could just surrender and give up so I could just fit in and be happy, but they’ve never lasted.

I wrote this poem in my head on the way up to ABCNJ Wednesday, and it reveals something about my inner turmoil. I want to experience hospitality from the systems I’m part of, but I’m often met instead with “you don’t belong.” The last statement the gatekeepers express is where I live, “We know you. We remember.”

Throughout my life, I mean throughout my whole life 1 I’ve been told I’m a…

  • stupid liberal
  • just another white guy
  • judgmental conservative 2
  • winner of the genetic lottery
  • false teacher
  • typical man
  • loser
  • hater of old people 3

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’m sure there are a number of things I’ve not heard which could be added, but it’s a nice sample. Most of us go through our lives being told who we are by folks who don’t have a blessed clue who we are. And a lot of us have had proverbial doors slammed our faces by people among whom we expected refuge 4.

I joke a lot about not wanting to be seen, but that’s not entirely true. I do want people to see me, but I’ve found time after time people would rather just tell me what I am. It leaves me feeling stranded.


  1. Wounds heal, scars remain. Life goes on. 
  2. If you’re confused why both liberal and conservative are in this list, it’s actually pretty simple. First, my political views have gone from center-right to center-left over the years. Second, depending on what region I’m in I’m seen as either a raging fundamentalist or an idiotic liberal. When the different regions which garner these observations of my character got together I feel really lonely. 
  3. Of everything I’ve listed, this one hurt. 
  4. Or, in the case of actual refugees nowadays, literal doors. 

3 Thoughts

  1. You are in the right church ( right family of fsaith. We hold you in prayer)

    Sent from my iPad

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